Michael Pilarski

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since Apr 02, 2005
Michael "Skeeter" Pilarski is a life-long student of plants and earth repair. His farming career started in 2nd grade and his organic farming career began in 1972 at age 25. Michael founded Friends of the Trees Society in 1978 and took his first permaculture design course in 1982. Since 1988 he has taught 36 permaculture design courses in the US and abroad. His specialties include earth repair, agriculture, seed collecting, nursery sales, tree planting, fruit picking, permaculture, agroforestry, forestry, ethnobotany, medicinal herb growing, hoeing and wildcrafting. He has hands-on experience with over 1000 species of plants. He is a prolific gathering organizer and likes group singing.
Port Townsend, Washington
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Recent posts by Michael Pilarski

Permaculture Design Class with Michael Pilarski
Co-Design a Local Property
Learn how to design your own property

September 28, 2017
9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Work together to design a 10-acre farm outside of Port Townsend with renowned permaculture writer and farmer Michael Pilarski.

We will utilize the Permaculture design 8 step methodology.

We will study the interface between buildings, hedges, water, soils, wildlife, aesthetics, fragrance, color and more

Everyone will participate in the design process. We will have an artist to work with us to get the design on paper.

The Class will be led by Michael Pilarski: Michael has taught 40 permaculture design courses and hundreds of workshops on permaculture and related topics. He has been farming and gardening organically since 1972.

Class Fee: $100

Contact Michael Pilarski for registation

Payment via Paypal or send a check to-
Friends of the Trees
PO Box 1133
Port Hadlock, WA 98339

Paypal email to send payment-

FACEBOOK event page-
3 years ago
Yay for huglekulturs!  Here is a video of our recent planting.

3 years ago
Hey Folks!
INPC updates and details.

Facebook event page-

Come one, come all.

Attendance by donation. No one will be turned away for lack of funds.

Workshops ∙ Tours ∙ Hands-on ∙ Networking ∙ Childrens’ Program ∙ Singing ∙ Dancing ∙ Organized Camping ∙ Fantastic Meals ∙ Skill-sharing

Topics this year include: Water ∙ Permaculture ∙ Ecosystem Restoration ∙ Food production in yard, town and city ∙ Farming ∙ Livestock Production ∙ Medicinal Plants ∙ Biochar ∙ Mushrooms ∙ Primitive/Ancestral Skills ∙ Community Preparedness

Keynote Speaker: Kareen Erbe, Broken Ground

Dozens of Presenters!

Bring your kids! For ages 6-12 we have an exciting opportunity for them to join the Ravenwood Outdoor School for excursions on Saturday and Sunday. $25 per child per day. Scholarships available.

Suggested donation: $50 to $100 for the weekend. You still need to register-- on-line (see link below) or by phone: 406-741-5322.

Registration includes meals. Lodging is separate - You must make your own lodging arrangements.

Contact us about presenting, vending, tabling and sponsoring.
Inland Northwest Permaculture Guild zone1@inlandnorthwestpermaculture.com Facebook: tinyurl.com/inpg-facebook
Registration: http://inlandnorthwestpermaculture.com/
3 years ago
Hi Kelda, et al,

Responding to the list of committees that Kelda put up. I am commenting on the ones I would like to contribute to and adding some new ones. I will start a few new topics tonight.

Business Structure (making or transferring non-profit to our current team). Michael Pilarski, Charlotte Anthony and Erik Blender are all on this team. Tom Allen is on. Bill Aal has expressed interest in helping. Who else?

Registration. This is a big job needing an experienced, competent person. I know of two people I will inquire with.

A presenter registration form needs to be put together. Look at last year’s. Get advice from Jan Spencer who handled this last year. We can brainstorm a list of people who we want to invite. Many people will apply to give a workshop once the publicity starts going out. What is going to be our policy on keynote speakers this year. How many do we want? When will they present? What is our presenters and keynote speakers budget going to be this year?

Food & Kitchens
How about breaking this into a couple of inter-related committees.
Food Procurement Committee [STARTED NEW TOPIC]

I will add to this effort through my networks.

Hands-On/ Skill-share area
I propose breaking this into two committees or at least consider the two facets.

The Skill-share area at St Helen’s was very well done and a big hit. I think the concept should be done again and even add more.
Several people in the group have a passion for bringing this together. I will ask Jason Knight at Alderleaf Wilderness College in Monroe if their folks would like to set something up. I would also ask Chris and Kim Chisholm at WOLF in Puyallup if they would like to do so. Both are combining outdoor skills with permaculture in their curriculums. I am sure there are many others like them.

Hands-on activities in the local area and in Port Townsend leading up to the conference. Perhaps something along the line of the Village Building Convergence, VBCish. Install some gardens or hugelkulturs or appropriate technology or natural building, etc, etc. Is there energy for something like this during the week before the conference? Alternatively what is already going on or in the works in the area anyway? Port Townsend is a very active community.
At the Spokane pc conference last fall, we made Friday a big field trip day and had 4 groups going morning and afternoon. We had breakfast and lunch together. In Missoula this year we are going to combine field trips with lots of hands-on activities. VBCish. The local organizers are already calling it the “Perma-Blitz”.

Website/ Tech Geeks
Not sure what you mean by Tech Geeks, but perhaps you mean an
A/V team. Audio visual. We will need more tech folks then when at a college. We will need to assemble power point projectors, screens, computers, extension cords, power strips, lights, recording equipment, mikes, amplification (at least for the plenary area). Might need a slide projector. Some of these things will be brought by the projectors but some things we will need an AV crew to round up. Trying to minimize costs. And of course people will be needed to set up systems and trouble shoot them.

Site coordination
I am assuming here that you mean site set-up. Not sure what this will all mean yet, but at least it will involve getting some additional structures up. I have mentioned that I can bring the coverings for some large structures. I have already lined up a large truck to transport the tents from Tonasket to Fort Flagler and back. I will check into Kyle Taylor to see if he would come and run the tent set up crew. Kyle is a friend and permaculturist who has been working at event production setup.

Another position is site liaison.
Someone who maintains contact with the FF staff. Asks questions, gets answers, make sure things are working smooth, Answering questions and addressing concerns from their end. Tom Allen has already been performing this role and I support him in continuing to do so.

Sponsorships is a big part of this. I have a sponsorship template that worked well for the Inland NW PC Conference. It can be adapted to the NWPCC. We need to brainstorm a list of sponsors and deliver the sponsor packets to these potential sponsors in person where possible and if possible by someone who is already their friend. For instance I can approach Fourth Corner Nursery in Bellingham for a sponsorship because I am already good friends with several of the principle people there. Fourth Corner is the pre-eminent native plant nursery in the Northwest, and almost every permaculturist is into native plants, so they are a good fit for a sponsor. I will draw up a list of sponsors I would be willing to approach. If everyone makes a list and we combine our efforts I imagine that we can raise some sponsorship money. I would propose that sponsorship money should be split between scholarships, presenters and the general fund.

Scholarships [STARTED NEW TOPIC]

Coordination of Worktraders/ Volunteer Shifts
Consult with Susan Navrotsky who did it in 2011 and Kelda who did it in 2010.

Sign-making and decoration. Usually these two jobs go well together. It takes a lot of signage. The signage was very well done last year in Oregon. The stretched and painted fabric signs looked great. Whoever does signs this year should definitely check with last year’s sign-makers.

Trade Show/Vending
A plan needs to be worked out about where they can set up. Is there space in any of the buildings? Covered areas? Do they need to bring their own structures? An application form needs to be made up. Fees need to be decided upon and someone has to handle incoming calls/emails on this issue. Keep track of vendor registrations and income and forward payment to whoever is handling the banking. At the event they have to help people find their spots, answer questions, give assistance where needed. Usually this just requires one person.

Enough for now. These are some of my initial thoughts. Looking forward to further collaboration.

Michael Pilarski
9 years ago

Food Procurement Committee [STARTED NEW TOPIC]
Michael Pilarski is part of this committee

Three sources of food
1) Donated by participants. Part of this is home-grown, part of it is purchased and part are donations solicited such as day old bread or even some dumpster diving. Aim for 75%
2) Purchased from local farmers. It will not be difficult to link into the local organic farming crowd. Vegetables is what we tend to get lots of participant donations from. Eggs, dairy and meat are usually needed to augment donations. We will be checking into purchasing a whole cow locally. Aim for 15%
3) Purchased through a regular natural food supply chain. The Port Townsend Co-op is the most likely choice. 10% or whatever is needed after we’ve done what we could with the above two sources. Salad oil and cooking oil, some spices, cheese, butter, almond milk, rice milk, salt, and so forth,

For every convergence we have publicized that people should bring food to donate to the common kitchen. If any crowd should be able to feed itself, it is the permaculture crowd. In the two years at Sahale and at South Seattle Community College the food was about 75% donated and a majority of that grown by themselves. I have heard that this proportion went down at the St Helens, Oregon convergence last year. We should make a plea to all the participants to see if we can get back up to 75% food from the participants. Can we feed ourselves? Are we willing to adapt our diets for the weekend to forego citrus and instead eat regional fruits with high vitamin C content.

The food procurement committee of course will have to work closely with the cook(s). we will need a local person from the Port Townsend area who is deeply familiar with the local farm/food scene.

Kitchen outfitting
Inventory what is available on site. The cooks then brainstorm the list of everything else they need. Someone(s) has to line up all that stuff. Cookware, serving ware, etc, etc.
This includes planning for all dish washing, cleaning supplies, towels, etc
Best scenario is that the cook(s) have a lot of the needed kitchen stuff or knows where to borrow it.
Michael Pilarski has a lot of the things for outfitting large event kitchens. I am willing to bring a lot of kitchen stuff if it cannot be located closer. So I will be part of this committee

Receiving, inventory and storage of food on site. Last year there was a whole crew and a separate building for this. Receiving inventorying and storage of huge volumes of food is a lot of work. It needs to be gotten from the storage to the cook’s hands as needed. What is storage capacity like at the two kitchens? How big is the cold storage(s)? Any other rooms, buildings available.

Menu planning
So how is the cook going to prepare a menu from donated food? Every registration form has a section that asks people to write down what food they will be bringing to donate. This information is keep collated and delivered to the cooks periodically so they can see what things are being promised. This gives us some idea of what is incoming. Plus we can draw on past year’s experiences. I have some of that institutional memory and know all the cooks from past years, who we can call for advice. The menu planning phase will inform what we need to order through stores.

The head cook has to cook as well as direct the kitchen team. There will have to be separate cooks for the two kitchens. It has been proposed that one be vegetarian and one be carnivore. The head cooks have to be cooking whizzes plus have impeccable people skills. We should start looking. It would be nice to have a sterling cast of applicants to choose from.
9 years ago

Scholarships Committee [STARTED NEW TOPIC]

Since I proposed that some of this year’s sponsorship money be allocated to scholarships a few people would have to oversee this facet. Decide where to do extend offers of scholarships.

For instance I would like to see scholarships for members of the Indian tribes of the area, the Jamestown S'Klallam Indian Tribe and the Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe. But this is easier said than done. I personally have a few native contacts and know people who do have contacts in the Swinomish, Lummi, Tulalip and other tribes. Here is the url of a map in case you want to brush up on current placement of tribal reservations in the state: http://www.goia.wa.gov/Tribal-Information/Map.htm

Recent migrants from Africa, Asia and Central and South America, Particularly people who were farmers in their home country. We can learn from each other.

Street people, I always like to offer a scholarship to a staff and several of the street people that work with Seattle Youth Garden Works.

We want to give scholarships to people who are keen to gather knowledge to take back to their communities. In fact, why not make it one condition of the scholarship to schedule and give a public talk in their community.

I find sometimes that the people who are the most open and motivated already have their hands full and sometimes are working a lot to support a family. Their families are already struggling. In some cases I would like to be able to pay some people money they can give to their families so they can take the time off for the conference. I would not publicize this, but I hold it open as a possibility in some circumstances where we are really convinced this is a worthwhile person to invest in.

A scholarship application form would need to be made up. The people on the committee can brainstorm a list of avenues to explore, organizations to approach, etc. and put it on the scholarship string in the forum. Anyone else on the forum can stop by to see what’s up and post their nominations to add to the list.

I see the scholarship fund as for special cases. Where we are extending a hand and trying to bring someone in who would otherwise not even consider it. Many of the people who write asking for a scholarship are perfectly capable of doing a work trade.

9 years ago
I have tried paw paw a few times and they always died.  They seem to make it the best parts of the Willamette valley.  Theoretically they can be made to work in zone 5, but I haven't seen any yet.  tasty, yes, and worth more experimentation but I wouldn't sink much money into it.

9 years ago
Hi Paul,

You caught me with my pants down.  I have not gotten a paypal button(s) set up to accept payment for lodging. 

We have got some nifty and comfy accomodations lined up at the Mukogawa Fort Wright Institute which is a hop, skip and a jump from Spokane Falls Community college.  it will only cost $30 for one night, $55 for 2 nights, $80 for 3 nights and $110 for 4 nights. 

People anxious to get their beds secured can send payment to:
Inland Northwest Permaculture Guild
PO Box 826
Tonasket, WA 98855

but no worries,  you can pay at the door.  I have 80 beds secured (2 beds to a room) and I expect that will accomodate our out-of-towners that want such lodging. 

Kelly Ware and her Montana posse should definitely stay with us at the dormitories.  more chance for rubbing elbows.

Michael Pilarski
9 years ago
Hi Sue,

Are you the Sue interested in the Inland Northwest Permaculture conference.  if not, I hope you would be.

How do I reach permaculture-minded folk in your area? is anyone else using the term?

I think northeast Oregon is a great place (visited a couple times and put on a small restoration forestry event there) and I thought it would be worth moving to, but I am already too ensconsed in my current home bioregion. north-central washington.

best to everyone in the coming times.

Michael Pilarski

9 years ago
Hi from another nor'east Washington resident,

I love northeast Washington (and north-central Washington).  But heck, I love just about everywhere I go. 

In Steven's county, I have lived near Springdale, two places near Rice, one time in Marcus, and two times in the Onion creek valley. 

In Okanogan County I have lived near Chesaw, near Oroville, outside of Havillah, above Ellisford, two places near Twisp and a bunch of places near Tonasket. I am currently in Tonasket,

In Chelan County I have lived in Manson, outside of Chelan, and near Leavenworth, (near Peshastin).

i hope to bump into the rest of you folks sometime at one of the regional gatherings and swap story, such as the Tonasket Barter Faire or the Inland Northwest Permaculture Conference.

I used to do big tree sales all across north Idaho and north Washington.  I still do a few small ones. Anyone want any trees?

9 years ago